While studying abroad in Hong Kong I’ve had the luxury of immersing myself in arguably the best sneaker city in Asia. Today, I got a taste of the world-renowned “Sneaker Street” (Fa Yuen Street) in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, during a recent visit downtown.
Unlike today’s U.S. sneaker culture, where online shopping, raffles, and lines dominate people’s sneaker shopping routines, Mong Kok’s Sneaker Street offers an old school feel to the shopping vibe; all of the sneaker stores are centralized in one region and the hunt is a big part of the fun.
The street is filled with flagship stores from the likes of Nike, adidas, and Reebok, but the real hunt takes place in smaller local retail shops that sell older sneaker models and even exclusive PEs. Moreover, the sneakers sold at these shops are predominately basketball sneakers — after all, China is a huge basketball country with over 300 million registered hoopers.
Prior to my trip, I expected to see a lot of Chinese brands like ANTA, Li-Ning, and Peak stocked at these stops. However, I wasn’t able to spot any of these brands in the stores. In fact, the Sneaker Street itself was, for the most part, not particularly diverse; most stores sold similar items, save for a few exceptions. That being said, most shoes were being sold at a discounted price and additional markdowns are pretty much the norm at every store.
Despite it being called the Sneaker Street, Mong Kok’s sneaker experience extends way beyond Fa Yuen Street itself. Dozens of stores are hidden in the upper levels of buildings and will require some effort to locate. I would take most more than a full day to absorb all there is to the sneaker culture in Mong Kok, but the hunt is definitely worth it and is part of the excitement in all of this.
I took some pictures of the gems I found throughout the day so I hope you all enjoy. Where in Hong Kong should I visit next? Sound off in the comments below.
Photography and words by Kuan Lee. Exclusively for WearTesters.